Good to know
Internet & wifi
Thailand’s wifi and internet coverage is good, and usually all restaurants, bars and hotels offer free wifi, even in rural areas.
It is easy to get internet on your cell phone, as many companies issue special ‘tourist’ pre-paid sim cards, with prices starting from 300 THB, depending on the package you want. Sim cards can be purchased at almost any 7-11 or other minimart, as well as at any mobile phone provider in cities and towns. AIS, DTAC and China Unicom are among the most popular providers.
Visitors have several options to get from the airport to Chiang Mai's city center. Taxi is the easiest option, but please make sure to buy tickets for taxis at the official airport counter at the bottom-level of the terminal before exiting. Do not fall for the many ‘official’ touts inside the airport, as prices are significantly higher. Buses also run the route between the airport and the city frequently throughout the day. Passengers are responsible for additional fees if taking overhead highways (the driver will ask if you want to take them), but the time saved is worth the additional amount.
For trips within cities, Grab is widely used in Thailand and is highly recommended to use for tuktuk and taxi trips, as all prices are set and no negotiating is necessary (even if you are a good negotiator, fares via Grab are always going to be cheaper). Other options to use are All Thai Taxi or Easy Taxi, with the latter geared more towards long-distance travel. The apps can easily be downloaded onto your phone. To get the links, please go to the Transport & immigration links on the Thailand country page.
If using a taxi without an app service, make sure that the driver agrees to turn on the meter before getting in. If this request is refused, don’t bother and look for another taxi.
Long distance transportation in Thailand is frequent and straight forward, as both the bus and railway network are well developed. For long distance travel, such as Bangkok to Chiang Mai, the best option is to fly. Air fares within Thailand are very cheap and there are many airlines offering routes.
When visiting the islands, ferry service is required (except for Koh Samui and Phuket, which have their own airports). Ferries run frequently between the mainland and all islands and are usually straight forward and inexpensive. In most cases, you can show up at the pier and purchase a ticket.
Using cash is the most common way to pay in Thailand, especially in rural areas. However, most hotels, restaurants and tour operators accept credit card payments.
Thailand’s currency is the Thai Baht, and it is easy to change any major currency into Thai Baht almost anywhere. Try to avoid changing money at Bangkok’s airports, as the rates are lower than anywhere else in the country. If you need to change money at the airport, get the amount you need to get into the city and change more once there.
ATM’s are common in Thailand, with most of them allowing international money transfers.
Thailand is a safe place for tourists, and crime towards visitors in general is low. However, there have been several issues and common sense is recommended.
As everywhere, single woman should pay caution at night avoid dark streets and isolated places in both cities and on the islands.
Transport scams, especially at airports and around bus stations, are common, and it is a good idea to check out prices at more than one place. To be on the safe side, it is recommended to buy tickets at an official counter.
Overnight buses have had ongoing problem for many years, with staff going through luggage in the underneath compartments while the passengers are asleep. Never leave any valuables in your bags while embarking on an overnight bus journey and carry them on you. Unfortunately, Thai authorities don’t seem to be interested in solving this problem, despite the many complaints. However, this seems to be mainly a problem on the specialized tourist buses, and there are no issues while travelling by public long distance bus.
Thailand’s public health care system is among the most developed in the region, and good healthcare can be found anywhere in the country, including dental care. Bangkok boasts some of the best private hospitals in the world, explaining the huge amount of ‘medical tourists’ flocking to Thailand each year due to excellent service and low treatment rates. However, public hospitals are very good and costs for treatment are significantly cheaper. It is highly recommended to obtain a travel health insurance before going to Thailand.
Vias & immigration
Tourists from the EU, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, the US, the UK, Japan, China, several Middle Eastern - and ASEAN countries do not need to obtain a visa to visit Thailand and will receive an entry stamp on arrival. If arriving by air, visitors can stay up to 30 days in the country. If arriving via a land border, entry is only valid for 14 days (however, this changes frequently, and Thai immigration policy regarding entry overland has been chaotic for decades to say the least. It is recommended to visit the official immigration website when planning to arrive via a land border to check on the latest requirements).
If you are not sure about your country’s requirements to enter Thailand, visit the official Thai immigration website. The link can be found at the Transport & immigration links provided on the Thailand country page.
In order to enter Thailand, visitors also need to show proof of a double Covid-19 vaccination, as well as a negative PCR Test not older than 72 hours when entering.
Travolution360 tries its best to cover as much as possible, but it is always worth to stop and visit a tourist information, as they have spezialized knowledge of the area and can often point out places and events that are not well known to a broader audience. And, of course, engage yourself in conversations with fellow travellers, as the best information is by word of mouth.